“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
These verses remind us to observe the Sabbath day. This is fourth of the group of laws in the Bible known as the Ten Commandments. It states that we are to observe a “Sabbath” day. Sabbath comes from an ancient Hebrew word meaning, “to cease” or “to desist.” We are to get our work done in six days and then to make sure to rest and keep holy a seventh day – a “Sabbath” day. In doing so we will honor the Lord and find rest for our bodies and souls.
1. This is a commandment to “remember”. Why do we so often forget to observe a Sabbath day? How can we remember to honor God in a special way one day per week?
2. This is also a commandment to “work”. Notice that in these verses we are to labor and “do all our work” so we can have a day to rest, reflect, and recover our bodies and souls. How can you “work smart” in order to have one day off per week?
3. This is also a commandment to “rest”. You, your family, even guests in your home should rest on this day. Back then, society was agrarian. Almost everyone worked in the fields. But today many are sitting at desks all day. So, can movement, recreation, hiking, and exercise be a form or rest in our sedentary world?
1. REST! Humans are not designed to work constantly. Sleep, rest, recreation, family time, and worship have a healing effect on your body and soul. So decide NOW to keep a Sabbath Day each and every week.
2. RELATE! Use this day for relationship with God and family. Take time with your kids and spouse and friends. And remember to make this day more focused upon God as well. Worship the Lord, pray, and just be aware of His presence all through the day.
3. DEDICATE. Many think Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) or Sunday (the Christian “Lord’s day”) are the only days that can be Sabbath Days. But nurses, doctors, and others who serve on those days are allowed to observe another day as their Sabbath. According to this verse, just get your work done in six days; but that seventh is to be dedicated to rest and relationship with God.
“God, help me take appropriate rest from work, trusting You to provide for me (Matthew 6:25-33). God, help me stop all the striving that makes me feel valuable and worthy, trusting that You have already given me value and worth (Psalm 139:14). Oh, great God, help me be still and rest in Your goodness and greatness.” (Prayer from Christ Chapel)